Mixed Berry Salad with Key Lime Simple Syrup and Angel Food Cake Croutons
Mixed Berry Salad with Key Lime Simple Syrup and Angel Food Cake Croutons is fresh mixed berries in key lime simple syrup with angel food cake croutons. Top with whipped cream or Greek yogurt for a fabulous summer dessert or afternoon treat.
Who out there watches Chopped on Food Network? I’m addicted to the show, and have been since it started up years ago. If you’re not familiar with it, the show is a competition where 4 chefs battle for $10,000. There are 3 rounds, appetizer, entree, and dessert, in which each chef is given a mystery basket with 4 ingredients that they must use to create a dish where they are judged by celebrity chefs. Why am I telling you all this? Because the inspiration for this fruit salad came from an episode of Chopped. I can’t remember the name of the chef that created the dessert, but he used cake from the mystery basket to make croutons for a fruit salad. I loved the idea — it’s like a fruit salad panzanella — and I LOVE panzanella. 😀
I grew up eating angel food cake, and it was one of my favorites. When I was a single lady in my 20’s, I used to buy angel food cake cups at the store and eat ’em with chocolate pudding and whipped cream in front of the TV at night. That’s better than the Twinkies my roommate and I used to eat when Melrose Place was on! 😆 Ah, to be twentysomething again.
I’ve digressed a bit, and I’m sorry. I’ve professed my love for angel food cake, and the thought of making croutons with it was more than I could stand. Just like I did in my twenties, I bought some angel food cake cups at the store. Instead of eating them with pudding, I cut them into cubes and baked them until they were crispy like croutons. I proceeded to pop about dozen, then I got started on the fruit salad.
I had plenty of mixed berries, and I knew I needed more sweetness. I had some key lime juice leftover from my Key Lime Bars, and I made a thick, simple syrup. This stuff is heavenly, and it was delicious mixed with this fruit and drizzled over the crispy croutons. 🙂 Top this masterpiece with whipped cream or vanilla Greek yogurt, and you have one delicious dessert or afternoon treat. Be warned — these croutons are utterly addicting, and you may just eat half of them before you eat the salad. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons key lime juice
- Your favorite variety of mixed berries
- Store bought or homemade angel food cake, cut into 1" cubes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the angel food cake cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Set aside.
- While the croutons bake, prepare the simple syrup. Place the water, sugar, and key lime juice in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until thickened. Set aside to cool.
- Place 1 cup of mixed berries in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of simple syrup and stir to combine. Top with the desired amount of angel food cake croutons and stir. Add more simple syrup, if desired. Top with whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
Don't mix the croutons in the fruit salad until just before serving or they will get soggy! Croutons are best eaten the same day.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.